General Manager of Hotel Yak & Yeti for over a year, Schieblauer, whose passion for people always keeps her on her feet sits down with Paribesh Sitoula from Nepal Traveller
With over 20 years of hospitality experience under her belt, and always in the scene, Monika Schieblauer, the winner of the Best General Manager of Nepal 2018 by CMO Asia International, tells us what it’s like to be in her shoes.
How do you feel being part of such a huge hotel?
It’s been 15 months since I’ve joined this place as a general manager and I must say I’m quite delighted. To be involved with over 300 associates and to work with a family that cares so much for hospitality is always a pleasure.
What are the benefits of being a General Manager and what are some of the challenges that you face?
Meeting so many people is something I really enjoy, it is one of the perks of being a General Manager. If you enjoy interacting with people it is one of the most interesting jobs that you can have. You get to promote your country and show them what great hospitality is like.
I’ve had similar jobs in other countries but it isn’t comparable to the kind of interaction I have in Nepal. Here, I get to meet important people like the Prime Minister and the President and it makes me happy when I can make my guests happy. The challenging part of this business is probably getting things imported to Nepal. It usually takes a lot of time and sometimes disrupts some of the happenings in our hotel. But it isn’t something that our talented group of staff cannot handle.
How do you handle things when it goes south?
I believe finding the root of the problem is the most efficient way you can fix things. A problem can be like an onion. Working on the root means fixing everything from the bottom and it can solve issues in a much easier and a faster way.
What are some of the things you consider to be your strength in this line of work?
I am passionate about my job and I love what I do, I am continuously working hard to make things better, I don’t give up when a challenge comes across my way, I am also someone who gives attention to detail, And despite the norm that says general managers are the ones working behind the scenes, I prefer running around and being in action all the time. This has made my work much more interactive and effective.
What are some of the things that have made you really glad about the staff working here?
I am satisfied by everyone’s work, however, I need to give special credits to the older faces of this hotel. The people that have been working here for over 30 years know what it means to provide quality hospitality. They know our loyal clients and customers and are well informed in this matter. They truly deserve some credit for maintaining the prestige and quality of this hotel.
As this is a place among many others, how do you ensure that people get attracted to this very hotel?
Our heritage is something we really take pride in. We try to offer the traditional Nepali experience as much as possible. We greet our guests with Nimbu Paani and Lapsi as they walk into our hotel. Similarly, the hotel rooms ensure an authentic Nepali feel as you walk in detailed wood carving, traditional paintings can be found all over the hotel. Our garden is also well appreciated by everyone and we really take pride in its maintenance and presentation.
What are some of the things about Nepal that you really love?
The natural beauty of this country is unlike anywhere else. I love animals and nature, Nepal is just the perfect place for it. The religion and culture in this country have never failed to amaze and excite me. I’ve even been to temples and places and it’s always exciting to be a part of festivals. Nepali people are very friendly and welcoming and I love being around happenings.
How often do you travel in or out of the valley? What is your favourite travel destination in the country? Where do you recommend tourists go once they come to Kathmandu?
I try to travel at least once in every two or three months. That way I get to meet more people, learn about communities, and experience more of Nepal as a whole. Pokhara and Chitwan are my top picks, however, the animal lover in me would definitely favour Chitwan if I had to make a choice. I would definitely recommend my guests to go visit the Patan Durbar Square once they come to Nepal. It is one of my favourite places in town followed by Thamel.
What is your advice to people who are getting involved in this line of work?
You need to be passionate about doing this job. If you like interacting with people, this is definitely the thing to do. But sometimes, when the hours are long, you need to step up and take the challenge because if you don’t love your work, you’ll obviously get tired of it. Your experience and your interactions are important as you build your career. You, as an individual, can also bring quite some improvement as you do your job and that is always something to be proud of.